Indian armed forces ambushed and killed 17 coal miners in Nagaland Mon’s district. An official report stated the killings as a case of mistaken identity during a counter-insurgency operation. The Home Minister of India, Mr. Amit Shah described it as an unfortunate incident, while the Chief Minister of Nagaland offered his condolences to the bereaved families and assured justice according to the law of the land. What do the inhumane extra judicial killings of civilians followed by apologies tell us about the state of India democracy?
Author: Dolly Kikon
Dolly Kikon teaches Development Studies and Anthropology at the University of Melbourne.
Dogs mean different things in Naga society: pet, companion, food, medicine, guard, spirit sensors, thief catchers and cat chasers. They also feature centrally in the most famous origin myth about the Naga script, which is connected to identity and language. According to legend, a dog ate the Naga script written down on animal skin, and from that day onwards, Naga tradition and knowledge has only been received and shared orally. The relationship between dogs and people in Naga society is an intimate one, and is integral to everyday lives. Dog meat has been part of Naga cuisine for a long time, yet, before dishes started to appear on restaurant menus and before vendors starting selling the meat in the market place, there was no debate or national campaign to ban dog meat.
As a Naga feminist, I remain hopeful at a time when Naga society decides to sit for consultation that we are able to resist the money, power, and attractions of authority wrapped in Naga patriarchal and traditional cloaks. Such kind of seductions has devoured numerous Naga tribal councils, politicians, leaders, community activists including the church workers. Albert Camus’s wise words come to my mind. As Camus fought racism and homophobia and joined hands with the African American civil and political rights movement, he noted, “I love my country, but I also love my justice”. I too end this essay by stating “As much as I love my Naga community, I also love my justice” and will continue to join hands with the struggle for gender justice.